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By Brooke Migdon
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade
Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday said China has taken a number of
steps in implementing its agriculture-related commitments under the U.S.-China
Phase One trade deal that took effect this month.
     China has lifted the ban on U.S. poultry imports and begun to roll back
restrictions on imported U.S. products like feed additives and seafood spices,
they said in a statement. It has also updated lists of facilities approved for
exporting animal protein, pet food and dairy, among other products. China
announced tariff exclusions for imported U.S. agricultural products that had
been subject to retaliatory tariffs earlier this month.
     "We are already seeing positive results," Lighthizer said. "We will ensure
the agreement is strictly enforced for the benefit of our workers, farmers,
ranchers and businesses."
     Perdue said he "fully" expects compliance from China on all elements of the
deal.
     A USDA report published last week indicated that U.S. agricultural trade
with China should "return to normal" this year, but that U.S. farm exports to
China would only rise to USD14 billion, falling short of the USD40 billion to
USD50 billion commitment in the Phase One deal. USDA's chief economist and
author of the report said the spread of coronavirus across China adds some
uncertainty to the global trade outlook.
     President Donald Trump tweeted last week following the release of the
report that U.S. farmers would receive additional federal aid ahead of the
implementation of a number of recently signed trade deals, including the Phase
One agreement. Trump indicated that the federal aid would be funded by the
"massive" amount of tariff money coming into the U.S.
     Perude's office said over the weekend that China's purchases will be
closely monitored using a "detailed, data-driven matrix" and that the U.S. can
reintroduce tariffs on Chinese imports if China is not meeting expectations. 
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202 371 2121; email: brooke.migdon@marketnews.com
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